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I'm not familiar with what was available in the 70's (I was a snot-nosed brat then...at least I wipe my nose now) but I've been in a sheetrock manufacturing facility and watched that stuff be made. It's formed in endless sheets, with edges shaped/tapered continuously. It's cut by a "brake" and this plant made about 30,000 sheets/day...there'd be no way for them to taper the ends in this process.
Not saying it couldn't be done, but I can see how, at least in present-day processes, it would severly limit capacity.
I spoke with a drywall sales rep who told me thaty when he worked for Domtar that they had tapered end drywall. The problem was that the drywallers who had told their market researchers that it was a good idea did not want to pay the extra money. They found this out after the product was on the market. They killed the idea.
The Butt Taper is a great tool! I just used it yesterday for the first time and it worked great and easy. The joint was perfectly flat and easy to do. I will be tearing out the wall since it was used on a set and I will see how strong the joint is at that time. This is a tool rather than a disposable thing that is left in the wall.
Assuming you install your drywall with the long edges perpendicular to the studs and joists, the code you quoted, "Edges and ends to occur over framing...except where perpendicular to framing." means that your butt joints must occur on framing! Of course, no one ever enforces that code, and no one ever tears drywall out to see if the code was followed.
kgphoto, how can your wall joints be perfectly flat at the plates?
Ends of drywall to end on a framing member..that's only on UL Listed walls. UL walls are fire stopping walls used only in commercial applications. In residential, you can use 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" or 5/8" ..nobody cares except for the garage.
Go to the USG Construction Handbook on page 115..they tell you to leave the butts in between the framing member to minimize butt cracking/ridging. It is acceptable to leave a butt in between the studs/joists in residential and in non-UL commercial walls.
Remember, the fellas who write the specs are the ones making the mud..the wider the butt joint the more money they make.
All you are doing by leaving the butt in between the studs is binding the two boards together..it works for pipe, wood, wire..why not drywall?
You wrote, "kgphoto, how can your wall joints be perfectly flat at the plates?"
If I understand you correctly, you cut your OSB just short of the fire blocking mid wall and the double top plate or bottom plate. I should mention you are running your boards horizontally and you stagger your butt joints as you would normally. So the end/tapered edge runs on the plates and the butts hang between the studs. So the drywall bears only on the blocking and plates at the top and bottom of the sheet, and the middle is attached only to the OSB strip running vertically behind the splice between the two drywall sheets.
Go to butttaper.com to see a video and stills of what I am talking about.
Tapered end drywall doesn't work when framing OC spacing runs off. A main problem with buttseams attached to the framing is that it is a very weak joint because it is attached to the framing. By the time it is attached the ends are damaged and weak and very likely to crack and ridge if the framing moves or shrinks. Backblocking is a very good answer because it is a much stronger stable joint. The device runs the length of the seam and is stronger than an area where there is no seam. I have been backblocking my butt seams for over ten years now with great long lasting results.
I just got a sample piece of drywall from SteveH, the creater of the ButtTaper. ( I assume you are the guy!) Absolutely fabulous tool! One of those headsmacking moments! "Why didn't I think of that!?" I'm ordering one as soon as I get my next drywall job...
I don't know Steve, and I'm not shilling here, but check it out guys... It's your loss if you don't. Ben.
Yea, that's me! About 5 years ago I did a senior citizen center and on the 2nd floor he had wood trusses on the ceiling. We finished the drywall in January, it was cold, and on March 1st the painter sprays the ceiling and about 250 butts cracked. On the way home and mad as hell I was thinking about the butt joints. So I thought that when when we do round walls we wet the board and then bend it, so what would happen if I wet the edge of the board and apply a force to it..would it crate a tapered edge on the butt joint? Driving home I stopped at Home Depot and bought a piece of 2' x 4' x 1/2" plywood and a sheet of 4x8 x1/2" sheetrock. Went to the backyard, made a butt joint on the plywood, got the hose out, sprayed it with water, had a lawn chair that had a round tubular legs like a rocking chair does, sat on the chair and rolled one of the chair legs over the butt joint and got myself a 1" tapered edge on the butt joint. So I thought "that's it!".
Myron is right, to leave a butt joint on 1 1/2" stud is joining the boards on a fault line as the wood will shrink and is never straight. That stud or joist is made to hold the building up and not to join two drywall boards together! A backer board is so much better and using a 5" backer board binds the two butt boards real well and the forces acting on the stud or joist are not present on the backer board.
After all the money I had spent on this as I'm just a poor drywaller it's good to get a reaction like yours because not many can see the beauty of it. Thus, you get one for free and it's going out tomorrow.